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Available Themed Shows

The shows below are available on request for private group bookings. Each show is designed by a different presenter, so please keep in mind that availability will be more restricted (unlike with a general private show, because by selecting a specific topic, you are also specifying the presenter). For reservations, email or call +1 (905) 525-9140 ext.27777.

Expandable List

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun and cast its ethereal shadow onto millions of Canadians – and McMaster and Hamilton.  Prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse!  Learn all about eclipses in general, how to view the upcoming solar eclipse safely, and what exactly to expect on April 8.

Astronomy is humanity’s oldest science, one that humans have been studying ever since we were able to look up. In this show, we will explore the night sky through the eyes of astronomers spanning from Paleolithic cave paintings of constellations to Han dynasty recordings of supernovae. Take a journey through time to learn about the oldest clocks and calendars, the precise mapping of the movements of the stars thousands of years ago, and ancient observations of phenomena modern astronomers are still studying today!

When we look up and see thousands of stars, we can’t help but marvel. For thousands of years, humans have devoted their hearts and minds to the patterns in the stars. Over all of history, different cultures have found the same hidden patterns, and have marked them with their constellations. These constellations can tell us truths about the world through countless myths and the astrological realizations they can enable. In this show, we will look at the zodiacal constellations and learn why astrological charts have the signs they do. We’ll also learn about two sky stories that have been told since time immemorial which have brought knowledge from the distant past into the present day. Finally, we’ll conclude by looking forward to the night sky of the far away future.

Throughout the ages, Arabic countries have been vital in advancing our understanding of astronomy. However, many modern-day recollections of astronomical achievement do not include these advances made by the Arab people. In this show, we will take a look at all the contributions made by the people of the Arab world from ancient Egypt, all the way up to today. We will look at how astronomy has shaped Arabic culture and discuss why modern-day Arab astronomers and discuss why Arab contributions to astronomy are often times overlooked.

Often times in the history of science, women’s contributions can go unnoticed or underappreciated, so taking time to shine a spotlight on what we have learned about our universe thanks to some incredible women can give us a more complete understanding of who is behind the telescope. Join us in meeting astronomers such as Vera Rubin, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, among many others, explore the history of astronomy, and learn about our universe through each of their discoveries.

Are you ready to explore some of the most unusual phenomena in our universe? During this show, we will take a tour of several stellar remnants, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes, some of the most elusive and mysterious objects in our universe! We will ultimately answer the question: What happens at the end of a star’s life? Will it explode as a supernova or collapse into a black hole? We will dive into the dark corners of the universe to discover some of the most extreme objects being studied by astronomers.

“That is how I heard the story, so I thought that is how you would hear it as well…” Join us for a fascinating show that blends local culture, history, and modern-day astronomy that shares the Six Nation’s sky lore and language through traditional indigenous night-sky stories. With narration and visuals by a live presentation and pre-recorded excerpts (in English, Mohawk, and Cayuga), learn about the story of the bear and the brothers and how it is retold every year with the rotating patterns in the night sky. See the same stars with a completely different understanding and appreciation! This show was collaboratively produced by members of the Six Nations, McMaster’s Indigenous Studies Program, and the McCallion Planetarium.

With the development of new telescopes that could see beyond visible light and the invention of computers to analyze cosmic data, the field of astronomy grew exponentially in the 1900’s. The Milky Way was found to be only one galaxy that existed in several billion; the Universe was found to be expanding; mysterious dark matter was proposed; and new planets were discovered to be orbiting distant stars. In this Planetarium show, we will travel back in time to investigate these topics and more as we explore the major astronomical discoveries of the 20th century.

Today, we take for granted that the Moon revolves around Earth, Earth revolves around the Sun, and that the Sun revolves around the centre of our galaxy. But have you ever stopped to wonder how we know this to be true? Why do we say the planets move around the Sun when we see them moving around us and, more importantly, why are they moving in the first place? Join us at the W.J. McCallion Planetarium as we discuss the history of the Solar System, the different models that were proposed and why we know the current one to be correct. We will discuss some great minds that you may have heard of before (and some that you may not have) and look at the sky the way that they would have many years ago.

Join us at the planetarium for a show geared toward younger audiences (8-15 years old) and their family members. We’ll first take you on a tour of the night skies seen from Hamilton, and then focus on the many fascinating bodies within our Solar System. Along the way, we will visit all the planets, some of the most interesting moons, and even more if time permits!

Join us at the planetarium for a show especially geared toward younger audiences (8-15 years old) and their family members. You’ve seen the Sun and the Moon, the planets, and the Hamilton night sky, but what’s beyond the Solar System? In this show, we’ll journey through the Milky Way and discuss our Solar System’s place in the Galaxy and our Galaxy’s place in the Universe. How long will it take to get to the nearest stars and to visit other worlds? What’s in the centre of the Galaxy? How does our Galaxy compare to others? We’ll answer all of these questions and more!

We’re lost. Audience members set off on a treacherous ocean voyage and were blown way off course. Their only way home: the stars. In this interactive session, we will teach you how to navigate with only the night sky. We will start with a brief tour of the night sky and how it works. Once oriented, we will try to determine our location and time, and then hopefully… find our way home.

Many of our favourite stories take place outside of our solar system or even our galaxy, the Milky Way. We are always curious to know what it would be like to live on another planet, take off at light-speed, or fall into a black hole. But how much of what we see in movies or tv shows is true? During this planetarium show, we will take a look at some common tropes we see in space media and ask ourselves: is this fact or fiction? We will learn about what shows and movies like Star Trek, Star Wars, The Martian, Interstellar, and Doctor Who get right or wrong, and celebrate them along the way!

Stars in literature are often depicted as eternal or immutable, but this could not be further from the truth: stars are born, live, and die, albeit on timescales much longer than a human life. From their birth shrouded in massive clouds of gas to their old age when they shed their material, stars are in constant interaction with their surroundings. These interactions give rise to some of the most beautiful structures in astronomy: Nebulae. In this show, we invite you to tour a gallery of nebulae ranging from stellar nurseries – such as the famous Pillars of Creation and Horsehead nebula – to the last images of dying stars, like the Crab and Ring Nebulae.

Everybody has the ability to interpret the awe of the night sky in their own way. For many of us, the vastness of space is best explained through music. We embark on a musical journey through the celestial objects to understand how they have inspired musical artists on Earth. From planets to galaxies and classical to funk, we consider all aspects of the vastness of space and music to understand how we as humans interpret the beauty of the night sky.

It is 1977 and you are the newly built NASA probe, Voyager 1. You prepare for your long journey through our Solar System and beyond, to places in the Universe no human-made object has ever been. You pack your bag with some messages and music from humanity, stored on a golden record, to present to any new friends you may meet on the way. Join us in the Planetarium to experience the sights and sounds of an absolutely out-of-this-world road trip!